Moving In Together: 5 Things to Think About Before Making the Leap
If you're spending most nights at your partner's place, or they're spending most nights at yours, the topic of moving in together might be starting to come up. As exciting as it sounds (and is!), it's important to remember how big of a life decision sharing a space can be. There are so many things to think about, from making sure you feel independent to avoiding a worrying financial situation. Here are some tips to help you start the process of deciding whether NOW is the right time to make the leap with your partner. Your relationship is your own, so don't feel overwhelmed by any of these tips. Remember, though, that they're here for you if you need them.
Here we go…
1. Talk It Out
If you're reading this article, you've probably talked about moving in together with your partner. It might sound obvious, but it's key to really talk about it, many times, over an extended period of time, before moving in together. Try to get beyond the lovey-dovey layer (which is a fun one) and imagine what it would really be like to live in close quarters with your partner. How would you divide chores? Would you get a pet? Would either of you be working from home? Should the apartment be closer to the office of the person who's in the office more, or near a neighborhood you both love?
These are some of the basic questions that are essential to work through before committing. Because moving in together is a major commitment. It's an expression of intense dedication to your partner and the relationship you've been building. If you arrive, in your conversations, at the conclusion that moving in together came up because it just feels like the next step you're supposed to take, try to unpack why it feels like the natural next step, and ask yourselves whether it really is.
Honesty is absolutely essential here. Let your partner know exactly how you envision your shared life and living space, and ask them to do the same. Talking it out is the beginning of this journey. It's an opportunity to fully understand where, how, and why you and your partner want to live together.
2. Consider the Change
During those conversations, consider the ripple effects of moving in together. Think about the little details of your life that you love so much, and ask yourself whether anything would change in a way you wouldn't like if you were to share a space with your partner. Share these thoughts with your partner, and listen to theirs in return. If one of you feels like your life would change too much, be open to compromises if moving in together still feels right. Ask yourselves, too, how your relationship itself would change. Would you become too dependent on one another? Would your friend groups get along when overlapping at your place? Might you feel limited somehow by living with one person in one place?
Understanding how moving in together will actually, practically change your daily life is a great way to understand how comfortable you think you'd really be with living with your partner. It can also help you understand which parts of your life you don't like, and become determined to improve them in your new, shared one. Remember that change can be positive and that it's nothing to be afraid of. Remember, too, though, who you are and who you're hoping to become after the move.
3. Share a Space, Build Your Own
Even if you've decided to share your life with your partner, ask yourself how you might be able to build your own space in your shared place. Maybe it's a little alcove with a desk where you can paint, meditate, or write in your journal, or maybe it's an extra room where you can work and make calls. Whatever it is, find a space that's uniquely yours, because no matter how much you want to share your living space, we all need time to escape from daily life and get back to our roots or just be absolutely and totally ourselves.
This space shouldn't be an escape hatch from your life with your partner. Rather, it should be a place where you can go so that you can emerge the best version of yourself for your partner and your relationship. Living together should remind us that we need to continue to grow and develop on our own, and building a personal space within a shared one is the perfect way to accomplish this.
4. Leave Money Out of It
The New York Times recently wrote an article about the problems surrounding an uptick in the number of young couples moving in together for financial reasons. It suggests that moving in together for the purpose of saving money is never a good idea, even if you do really love your partner and want to share a space with them.
When the financial balance between you and your partner gets overly out of whack, your relationship can suffer for a lot of reasons. Maybe the dynamic between you becomes awkward, or maybe the person with less money starts to feel unpleasantly dependent on their partner. Try never to let financial concerns get between you and your partner. Face them as a team, whenever possible, and put your relationship itself before anything else. Even if there's a great apartment available that would help you save a lot of money, don't just move in with your partner because it's easy.
Moving in together should never be a casual decision, no matter how fun your relationship might be. Think about the financials very carefully, and be open about them with your partner. This way, you'll get it over with, and ensure that you and your partner will move in together in a totally balanced, intentional, and beautifully caring way.
5. Future-Proof Your Relationship
When considering moving in together, don't think so much about the now. You know you'll love having a sleepover with your partner every night, and you know you'll love coming home to the same, shared space. But how will you feel the next day, and the next day, and the next one after that?
We're not trying to scare you, or suggest that long-term relationships are monotonous, but it's crucial to ask yourselves whether you're ready for the day-in, day-out collaboration it takes to maintain and even strengthen your relationship. What will holidays be like, for example, when you're living together? Will you plan every trip together from here on out, or will you both travel separately and be totally comfortable with that? Again, it’s important you keep growing independently, even while building a life together.
This all goes back to the first tip: talk it out. Here's an idea for a date night in the near future: order in from your favorite restaurant, write up a list of hypotheticals, and run through it with your partner. Once you've gotten through the list, and learned how you and your partner would handle different situations, consider whether moving in together will heighten, or lower, your chances of succeeding in a long-term relationship.